Feedback on Illegal Reindeer Hunts In Iceland


Published: July - 2010

Our warning about illegal reindeer deer hunts in Iceland (see our June issue, page 11) has knocked loose a storm of e-mails from hunters, agents and outfitters wanting us to publish more information about the perpetrator or perpetrators. Bjorn Birgisson of The Icelandic Hunting Club in particular took us to task for, as he says, putting all Icelandic operators under suspicion. He says the warning we issued encourages hunters to simply avoid booking any reindeer hunts in Iceland, and he demanded that we name the guilty operator or operators.

Frankly, we were a little surprised at this, as we have issued many similar warnings over our 30-year history, on hunts in places all over the world. We explained exactly what the suspected illegal activity was: specifically, in this case conducting reindeer hunts by circumventing the draw for permits and using permits issued to someone other than the actual hunter. We also explained when the permit drawing is conducted and how to safeguard yourself against an illegal hunt by demanding to see a reindeer permit issued in your name. Hunters following this advice on a reindeer hunt in Iceland will know instantly if the proposed hunt is illegal or not.

We have advised precisely the same thing before, most recently for leopard hunts in South Africa and Namibia. No one has ever alleged that hunters cancelled legal leopard hunts there because of our warning. We did not name the operator or operators who are apparently conducting illegal hunts in Iceland simply because the authorities at the Environment Agency of Iceland asked us not to do so while they are pursuing an investigation. You can be sure that if or when official charges are filed declaring who actually has broken the law, we will publicly point the finger. As for Iceland as a hunting destination, we see no reason why hunters shouldn't go there on a legal hunt, and we encourage subscribers to submit reports about their hunting experiences in that country.

........(continued)

 
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